May 14, 2013
In Washington, as in any seat of power, most acts of folly begin with hubris. Government leaders, elected or appointed, usually don't intend to do the wrong thing, to overstep or cause harm, but they become so convinced, so certain of their purpose, that they are blinded by their pride. Perhaps that's the root of the problem infecting the Justice Department, where officials secretly obtained months of telephone records of journalists working for the Associated Press. That Attorney General Eric Holder or anyone else there could find that action acceptable is frightening, to say the least.
May 12, 2013
President Barack Obama justified targeted drone assassinations outside of U.S. war zones; where was his nerve when the American consulate in Libya was under attack last year on Sept. 11 ("U.S. diplomat details attack in Benghazi," May 9)? President Obama was inexplicably MIA. No one in the press is demanding answers to that bizarre episode. Apparently, President Obama essentially abandoned our ambassador and soldiers. To add insult to injury, President Obama failed to send troops or investigators into Benghazi immediately to recover the bodies.
May 6, 2013
As the legislative chair of the Maryland Association of Housing and Redevelopment Agencies, which represents the agencies that actually administer the Section 8 rental assistance program, it was disturbing to read the distortions in Marta Mossburg's recent column ("Forcing landlords to accept vouchers won't help the poor," April 23). In addition to Ms. Mossburg's misstatements related to the Maryland HOME Act bill itself, which is merely intended to protect every person in the state as long as they have a lawful source of income, she instead focuses on whether the discrimination Section 8 voucher holders experience at the hand of landlords really makes any difference at all. Well, in my experience it does!
April 23, 2013
Of the three major news stories last week, two of them - the Boston Marathon bombing and the Texas fertilizer explosion - received extensive news coverage. But the third, the release of a report by a politically diverse group concluding there was extensive, unwarranted use of torture by our government during the Bush administration, received almost none ("The truth about torture," April 21). It is easy to understand why this received so little coverage. No deaths. No blood. Just another study.
April 17, 2013
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday she's pressing her Department of Transportation to ensure speed camera accuracy after officials acknowledged that 590 erroneous tickets were issued by the city's new multimillion-dollar camera system. At the same time, the mayor said, she's committed to a program that she believes helps protect children from drivers who speed in school zones. "I'm going to continue to put pressure on the Department of Transportation to continue to improve the program and to get it right," Rawlings-Blake said.
April 15, 2013
Local government is truly where the rubber meets the road. As Baltimore County executive, I proudly oversaw capital projects ranging from the restoration of the Randallstown Library after a fire to the expansion of Cromwell Valley Park. We rebuilt Essex Elementary School and constructed a new interchange at I-795 and Dolfield Road in Owings Mills. We were able to pay for these and dozens of other projects - which improved the everyday lives of thousands of people - with the help of tax-exempt municipal bonds.